Back where it all began: BMW celebrated its first victory in the DTM for 20 years at the Lausitzring – and now returns as champion.
Munich (DE), 10th June 2013. Just two weeks after the historic one-two-three achieved by Bruno Spengler (CA), Marco Wittmann (DE) and Timo Glock (DE) at the Red Bull Ring (AT), the BMW teams face their next DTM challenge on 16th June: after a strong display that yielded 70 points in total in the Steiermark, the eight drivers are fired up and ready to go as the Lausitzring (DE) hosts the fourth round of the season.
Spengler now returns to the Lausitzring as the championship leader on 53 points. BMW Team Schnitzer leads the team standings with 75 points, followed by BMW Team RBM (49 points) and BMW Team MTEK (47) in second and third. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW has extended its advantage courtesy of the one-two-three in Spielberg and now leads with 171 points.
The Lausitzring is hosting the touring car series for the 15th time. The circuit is driven anti-clockwise and offers more variants than almost any other in Germany. The DTM race will be held on the 3.478-kilometre loop, which consists of parts of the trioval and the regular circuit. For the first time this season, there will be a roll-out of the DTM cars on Friday from 18:45 to 19:00hrs.
Quotes ahead of the race at the Lausitzring:
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “Given the latest images of the flooding in parts of Germany and central Europe, sport obviously takes a back seat. Our thoughts go out to anyone who has been affected by the catastrophic flooding. The ITR and all the manufacturers represented in the DTM felt it was very important to at least do something to slightly relieve the distress of the people in need. We hope all those affected are able to show great strength as they look to the future. As far as the sporting side of things is concerned, we recently enjoyed an extraordinary race weekend in Spielberg, with BMW achieving a historic success. For the first time since we returned to the DTM in 2012, three BMW drivers made it onto the podium. This outstanding team performance makes me incredibly proud, particularly given the hard work that everyone in the team has put in over the past few months. Although we have made a virtually perfect start to our second season in the DTM, we would be well advised to keep both feet fixed firmly on the ground. The DTM is once again so close in 2013 that everyone starts from scratch again at every circuit. Therefore, it is quite possible things may change quickly. For this reason, we will stay true to our tried-and-tested principle at the Lausitzring, where we secured the first victory of our comeback season last year. We want to be ready to pounce when presented with the opportunity to claim a good result. Then we will see where that brings us out at the end of the season.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer): “Returning to the Lausitzring is very special for us. We are still proud that we claimed the first pole position and the first victory for BMW in 2012, when the manufacturer made its big DTM comeback. That success was a key result for our team, as it showed everyone we were able to mix it with the front-runners in the DTM. What followed was an extraordinary season. However, we will not sit back and bask in former glory. After the good results in Spielberg, we will again prepare meticulously for the fourth race weekend of the year, in order to lay the groundwork for another good result.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM): “We have fond memories of the Lausitzring. We made our first appearance on the podium in 2012, while BMW celebrated its first DTM victory for 20 years. After just two races, BMW and BMW Team RBM were immediately right up there at the front of the field. The circuit has a long straight. DRS will play a role under normal circumstances. The low level of grip also means there may be a large difference between the standard and option tyres. It will be an exciting race.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG): “The start to the new DTM season has been very patchy for us so far. However, we have also been denied better results time and again through no fault of our own. We will not hang our heads, but will continue to work hard to return to successful ways. Maybe the next race at the Lausitzring will be our time.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK): “Before the start of the season, we could never have dreamed our two drivers would be stood side-by-side on the podium after just three DTM races. This success has given the entire team extra motivation. We have shown that – when everything comes together 100 per cent – we are utterly competitive and can attack at the front of the field. We now head to the next challenge at the Lausitzring fully motivated.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 1, BMW Team Schnitzer): “I really like this track a lot. I claimed the first pole and victory for BMW there last year, so I obviously have very nice memories of the circuit. It is a very technical track from a driver's point of view, as you need to know where to brake. I believe we should be able to overtake with the DRS, and the car is also very good at the Lausitzring. I am also really looking forward to the atmosphere there.”
Dirk Werner (car number 2, BMW Team Schnitzer): “It is a race where I really want to achieve something because last year I started 21st and came in 19th. Obviously this year I want to finish further up the field and leave with some points to my name. I have learned a lot and hope to fare better this time around. I have raced at the Lausitzring a couple of times in other series, but the DTM car is a completely different beast. We will also be driving the shorter variant. I just have to adapt again and, to a certain degree, re-learn the track in a DTM car.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 7, BMW Team RBM): “It is a very special race weekend for me, as this was where I achieved my very first front row start and my first podium last year. We were very competitive and I like the track. It is unique. It is very bumpy, but last year it worked for us so let's hope it stays that way. We want to take the momentum we have gained through the positive start to the season and repeat last year's success.”
Joey Hand (car number 8, BMW Team RBM): “I am excited about returning to the Lausitzring. It is what we call a roval in the States – a road course oval – and historically I have been very strong at such tracks in Phoenix and Daytona. I am hoping we can come straight out of the trailer and do well. I think it is a bit of a special place. There are some tricks there and last year it took me until after qualifying to figure out a couple of corners that I wasn't doing properly. Now I know the little tricks, I think I can start fast there.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 15, BMW Team RMG): “The Lausitzring is quite a tricky circuit, as you have everything a race track should have – slow corners and fast sections. Last year we were very competitive and BMW did well and really made a point. It is the type of race track where you can never predict who will be the winner, so it will be very tough. I think we are well prepared for this race.”
Andy Priaulx (car number 16, BMW Team RMG): “This circuit has a lot of different corners as well as low grip and some bumps, but the good thing is there are plenty of overtaking possibilities and so we should be able to use the DRS. It is always good to go back to a track where BMW proved it was strong last year and, with its first win in only its second race after an absence of 20 years, BMW certainly did this in 2012. As always, I just want to put into practice what I learnt last year.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 21, BMW Team MTEK): “I am really looking forward to the race, as this season has gone very well for me so far. The Lausitzring is a really nice track and I have already driven there in Formula 3 and Formula BMW. The first part of the track has a lot of left and right-handers and you need to set the car up well for the corners. After that you have hard braking points and a very fast right-hand corner. This all makes the layout rather unique, so you need to have a good set-up for everything to find the right compromise. Again it will be a tough challenge in free practice to find a good set-up.”
Timo Glock (car number 22, BMW Team MTEK): “It is many years since the last time I drove at the Lausitzring, so it will be the same story as in Spielberg. However, the track we shall be on is different to the one I experienced back then. They have also changed turn one a bit. However, it should still be easier than Brands hatch, which I didn’t know at all. So I am hoping I can continue to improve and take the next step forward. It would also be nice to get the kind of weather we ought to be getting at this time of year, for the first time this season.”